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OE Activity: 2016 / September

OE Activity: 2016 / September (48)

Friday, 30 September 2016 08:44

Maersk Oil to review growth plans

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This week, Maersk Oil outlined plans to review the scope and scale of its headquarters organization over the next three months that will see its chief growth officer, Ebbie Haan, leave the company next month.

The review is in response to the recent outcome of the Maersk Group’s strategic business review and Maersk Oil’s exit from Qatar in 2017.

Despite a solid operational business performance, which saw the company return to positive earnings in Q2 2016, Maersk Oil needs to continue to adjust the business to the continued low oil price, changes to both the portfolio and to long term growth plans.

The review will be completed during the remainder of 2016. However, an initial phase to reconfigure the company’s growth organization and reduce the technology and projects group will be delivered by the end of October, subject to statutory works council consultation and local labor laws.

As a result of the changes, Ebbie Haan, chief growth officer, will leave Maersk Oil on 7 October 2016.

Commenting on the decision, Maersk Oil CEO-designate, Gretchen Watkins, said: “We fully recognize this announcement will be unsettling for our employees. By taking swift action we hope to minimize uncertainty and ensure focus continues, near term, on safe and efficient operations and continued execution of our world-class project portfolio in the North Sea. We are performing well in spite of the market, and we want that to continue.”

She continued: “Maersk Oil’s commitment to grow in the next few years is underscored by US$1-2 billion in annual capex to deliver the exciting Culzean and Johan Sverdrup projects. They will deliver 100,000 bbl of new production to Maersk Oil. We have a bright future as the cornerstone business in the new Maersk Energy.”

Read more:

Maersk divides, reorganizes

Friday, 30 September 2016 08:21

NYK finalizes EMAS Chiyoda interest

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Japan-based Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), EMAS Chiyoda Subsea Ltd. (ECS), Ezra Holdings, and Chiyoda Corp. completed a deal that sees NYK gain 25% stake in ECS.

Through the acquisition of existing shares from Ezra and Chiyoda, NYK now holds a 25% equity interest in ECS. Ezra and Chiyoda retain their respective 40% and 35% shareholding.

Ezra said with the initial formation of the 50:50 joint venture with Chiyoda completed in March 2016, the depth and breadth of ECS’ operational offerings have been boosted by Chiyoda’s front end engineering design (FEED), and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) expertise.

NYK’s 130-plus years of track record in ship management and operation will lend further support to ECS’ global expansion strategy and enable ECS to become a leading player in the subsea space.

Lionel Lee, group CEO and managing director of Ezra said, “NYK’s participation in this JV will enable us to tap into the Japanese market and NYK’s wealth of experience in vessel operations around the world. NYK’s investment is a strong testament to the core fundamentals and long-term prospects of our subsea business.”

Read more

NYK gains EMAS Chiyoda Subsea stake

Thursday, 29 September 2016 03:21

Wood Group beefs up data analytics space

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Wood Group has established a new data analytics centre of excellence at its office in Galway, Ireland.

The centre, which is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland, broadens Wood Group’s capabilities in advanced data analytics to support the oil & gas, industrial, utility and power generation sectors.

A key focus of the centre will be the innovative application to the energy industry, of data analytics technologies developed and deployed across other industries. Wood Group is looking to grow the data analytics team to 10 people by year end with the intention of developing further employment opportunities next year.

Bob MacDonald, Wood Group’s CEO Specialist Technical Solutions said:  “Wood Group’s commitment is to providing innovative technical solutions that solve our client’s challenges. We recognize the power of data analytics to enable our energy industry clients to optimize their exploration and drilling activities, enhance efficiencies and maximize the productivity of their assets. 

“This new centre, made possible through the support of the IDA, greatly enhances our specialist technical capabilities, enabling us to handle large quantities of data effectively and embrace and explore new innovations and technologies for the oil & gas, industrial, utility and power sectors.  This broadening of our capability in data analytics, married with our strong expertise and heritage in engineering will create exciting new opportunities for efficiencies that will directly benefit our clients.”

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 09:32

Statoil ends West Epsilon contract

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Norway's Statoil has issues an early notice of cancellation to North Atlantic Drilling on the West Epsilon harsh environment jackup.

The West Epsilon was originally contracted for drilling services in Norway until the end of December 2016 and the early cancellation will be effective upon concluding its current activities in mid-October.

The jackup up was being used to permanent plug wells at Huldra 30/2-A, in production license 051.

In accordance with the contract NADL will receive a lump sum payment of approximately US$11 million.

Image of the West Epsilon, from NADL.

Read more:

West Epsilon to P&A on Huldra

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 08:53

Petrofac completes Tullow decom

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Petrofac’s differentiated approach to decommissioning, in support of Tullow Oil’s well plugging and abandonment campaign in the Southern North Sea (SNS), has delivered significant results and saved US$2.5 million compared to traditional approaches.

Well engineering and well project management services were deployed within the six-month contract for the Horne & Wren asset in support of Petrofac’s established position as duty holder.  Part of Tullow Oil’s Thames Area Complex decommissioning project in the SNS, the well plugging and abandonment campaign was a key step in the schedule.

Petrofac successfully delivered the conceptual design, detailed planning, procurement, subcontractor management and the full execution of the plug and abandonment operations.  Petrofac’s industry-leading well project management software WellAtlas was used throughout to ensure efficient and assured project delivery.

WellAtlas is an integrated software tool that supports the entire well management and delivery agenda, providing a comprehensive overview of projects.

As Horne & Wren is a normally unmanned asset, there were a number of challenges to be overcome in the execution of the contract.  Petrofac’s integrated cross discipline team developed innovative technical solutions to successfully mitigate these, including using a jackup lift barge rather than a jackup rig and deployment of a pipe recovery technique rather than a heavy lift vessel.

“This was a challenging but highly rewarding project. In addition to providing a highly cost-effective solution, we also saved time on the project by proposing optimizations solutions to allow the preparatory works to be integrated as simultaneous operations,” Alex Macdonald, managing director – well engineering, Petrofac Engineering & Production Services said. “This highlights our ability to provide effective outsourced plug and abandonment project management, seamlessly integrated into the overall decommissioning project and driving value through differentiation.”

Image from Petrofac.

Monday, 26 September 2016 11:00

Woodside expects Bréanann results in January

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Woodside Energy and its partner Petrel Resources successfully completed the Bréanann 3D seismic acquisition program that covered over some 2392sq km of the northern Porcupine Basin, 150km west off the Kerry coast, south-western Ireland. 

The 3D seismic was acquired over 40 days with PGS as the contractor at water depths of 500-1300m.

About 1400sq km is directly over or around FEL 3/14, in which Petrel has a 15% interest. 

Processing of the (pre-stacked depth migration) seismic data is now underway at the DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) operation in Australia.  Petrel said it expects early results in January, with interpretation complete by mid-2017.

“This work is intended to de-risk the identified primary targets of Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous age, which may lead to one or more well commitments in the phase 2017 through 2021,” Petrel said.

Petrel has a 15% carried interest in two Frontier exploration licenses, FEL 3/14 and FEL 4/14, which total 1050sq km and are operated by 85% holder Woodside Energy.

Petrel recently applied under the 2015 Bid Round and was awarded an additional two licensing options, LO 16/24 and LO 16/25.  Petrel operates and owns these licensing options 100%.

During that Irish Atlantic Bid Round, 17 companies applied for 46 licensing options - the most successful Irish Bid Round yet.  Among the successful companies were ExxonMobil, Statoil, Eni, Nexen-CNOOC and Woodside.

Friday, 23 September 2016 09:48

Teekay inks Glen Lyon job

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Teekay Offshore has been awarded new three-year shuttle tanker contracts of affreightment (CoA), plus extension options, with BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell and OMV Group, to transport the oil produced from the new Glen Lyon FPSO, which is part of the Quad 204 development located west of Shetland in the North Sea.

The CoAs are expected to commence in 1H 2017 with the requirement for approximately two shuttle tankers. The partnership expects to service these new CoAs with its existing CoA shuttle tanker fleet.

“We are pleased to announce these new strategic shuttle tanker contracts, which further builds on the partnership’s leading market position in the North Sea,” Peter Evensen, Teekay Offshore CEO said. “These contracts further enhance our CoA contract portfolio and are expected to add future cash flow through higher shuttle tanker fleet utilization without the need for incremental capital expenditures. Looking ahead, the shuttle tanker market in the North Sea is expected to remain tight supported by a combination of more lifting points from new fields coming on-line and limited fleet growth with no uncommitted shuttle tanker newbuildings on order.”

Image of Glen Lyon, from BP.

Friday, 23 September 2016 08:49

Norwest enters Xanadu-1 farmout deal

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Norwest Energy entered into a farmout agreement with Transerv Energy and Triangle Energy (Global) Ltd. for the Xanadu-1, within TP/15, a block currently 100% owned by Norwest Energy (Norwest) via subsidiary Westranch Holdings.

TP/15 is located in the offshore northern Perth Basin, Western Australia. Norwest is planning to drill a well on the Xanadu prospect, located at the southern end of TP/15, and holding an un-risked recoverable resource of 160 MMbbl.

According to the terms of the agreement, Transerv will farm-in Xanadu-1 by contributing 20% of the costs to earn a 15% interest, and Triangle will contribute 40% of the costs to earn a 30% interest.

The intent is that the farmout process be completed by 31 December 2016 or such later date as agreed. By the end date, if the farmout process has not delivered farmout agreements that fund 100% of the drilling costs of Xanadu-1, then Transerv and Triangle shall have no interest in TP/15 and shall have no obligations under these termsheets with respect to TP/15.

With today’s announcement and numerous other parties currently reviewing the TP/15 dataset, it is expected that a joint venture will be finalized by December 2016. In the meantime, Norwest continues to work through the regulatory process required to drill the well.

Norwest CEO Shelley Robertson said, “We look forward to working closely with both Transerv and Triangle to enhance our understanding of the TP/15 permit, and to drill the Xanadu-1 well. Finalization of this joint venture and the subsequent drilling of the well will be considered a significant achievement in the current environment, and will represent a major milestone for Norwest shareholders.”

The timing of Xanadu-1 will be dependent upon regulatory approvals and rig availability, however Norwest is currently working closely with rig companies and other operators planning wells in 2017, to ensure the well can be drilled as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Map of TP/15, from Norwest.

Friday, 23 September 2016 08:41

Teledyne wins OceanServer AUV DVL orders

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Teledyne RD Instruments (TRDI) has received an order for an additional 10 Explorer Doppler Velocity Logs (DVLs) to provide precision navigation and current profiling capability on board OceanServer Technology’s Iver3-580 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), bringing the total number of DVLs  delivered to OceanServer to over 75. 

Teledyne RDI, OceanServer, and local representative OGI, have worked in close cooperation since 2011 to develop and refine this custom navigation solution, which is now a key component onboard the increasingly popular AUV. 

Bob Anderson, president of OceanServer, said:  “The IVER AUV’s stringent size, weight and power requirements can be a challenge for sensor companies to overcome, so we partner closely with our vendors to ensure optimal design and performance onboard our vehicles.  The Teledyne Marine companies have been dedicated partners for several years; we’ve absolutely helped each other reach new levels of performance.”

In addition to Teledyne RDI’s DVL, OceanServer also relies on other Teledyne Marine products onboard its AUVs.  A popular option for underwater communications in the Iver3 system is the combination of the Benthos ATM-900-BC1 Acoustic Modem in the AUV paired with the Benthos ATM-916-BC1 for topside communications.  The vehicles also include a variety of custom Teledyne Marine cables and interconnect solutions.

Friday, 23 September 2016 02:27

Fleet of AUVs deployed off UK

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A two-week mission involving 10 marine robots has commenced off northwest Scotland.

The third in a series of demonstrator missions, this latest phase sees the largest fleet of marine robotic vehicles simultaneously deployed in UK waters. The mission comprises seven submarine gliders and three surface Wave Gliders that are working together in fleets to collect a range of environmental data.

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) started the "Exploring Ocean Fronts" program in 2014, working with partners across science, government and industry to field-test novel marine autonomous systems for long-endurance ocean monitoring.

Phase one saw a fleet of seven marine robots deployed from the Isles of Scilly, armed with sensors capable of monitoring marine life including plankton, fish, marine mammals and seabirds. The robots travelled up to 150km offshore, with one of the surface vehicles covering 450km in 12 days. Three of the surface vehicles were then redeployed in Marine Protected Areas offshore of Plymouth, where they successfully tracked tagged fish using novel acoustic receivers.

Phase two comprised two successive missions off southwest UK in 2015 and 2016, undertaken in partnership with World Wildlife Fund UK (WWF-UK) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl); these missions were used to further test how submarine gliders and unmanned surface vehicles can work together to observe relationships between ocean fronts and marine life.

This third phase is being run in partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and is providing environmental data from an area off northwest Scotland to the Royal Navy’s "Unmanned Warrior" marine robot demonstration. Real-time data are visible via the mission website, and will ultimately be available to the marine science community via the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). Initial results will be presented at a workshop at the NOC in Southampton on 18 November 2016 as part of the annual Marine Autonomy and Technology Showcase.

NOC’s Professor Russell Wynn, Chief Scientist of the mission, said: “This deployment will showcase the capabilities of marine robots to the Royal Navy, and other defence and industry partners. The results will also inform the wider scientific and environmental community of the benefits of these new technologies as an alternative to manned vessels, which are relatively expensive to operate and have a larger environmental impact.”

Fraser Macdonald, who is co-ordinating the SAMS contribution, added: “Since 2009, SAMS has been using marine robots to support international science programs through our North Atlantic Glider Base and the Scottish Marine Robotics Facility, which has unique access to the deep waters of the northeast Atlantic. Participating as a key partner in this mission is a fantastic opportunity to contribute our scientific expertise and local knowledge”.

As well as collecting basic information on ocean temperature, salinity, oxygen, turbidity, and near-surface weather conditions, the gliders will also be measuring ocean currents, water depth, and the abundance of plankton in hotspots such as water mass boundaries (fronts). Some of the vehicles will be traveling over 150km offshore of the Outer Hebrides, and venturing into waters up to a mile deep.

Most of the gliders will be piloted via satellite from an operations room in the Marine Robotics Innovation Centre at the NOC, but some project partners will be piloting their vehicles from as far away as the US and Australia. A primary objective of the mission is to maximize the amount of data transmitted back to the operations room in real-time, to ensure it can be used by Royal Navy and Dstl staff.

Commander Peter Pipkin, Royal Navy Fleet Robotics Officer, said: “It is a great moment to see the largest UK deployment of hydrographic unmanned systems”. Dr Tim Clarke, a Dstl Marine Scientist added: “Dstl is using these trials to prove and demonstrate the capabilities of autonomous vehicles, leading to an improved and efficient maritime capability for the Royal Navy in the future”.

Rolly Rogers of the NOC, who is Operations Manager for the mission, said: “Over 20 organizations are working closely together to share resources and expertise on this deployment. Industry partners providing vehicles and piloting support include Liquid Robotics, Boeing, RS Aqua and Blue Ocean Monitoring, Royal Navy are deploying and recovering the submarine gliders, software experts such as Esri UK, Helyx and SeeByte will help us visualize incoming data, and Plymouth Marine Laboratory and UK Met Office will ensure we have the most up-to-date satellite images and weather forecasts to support mission planning.”

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